Tuesday, May 1, 2007

bad bait-and-switch practice

I remember the time before the Internet when bargain holiday hunters would spend hours staring at a TV screen as teletext [or similar] worked its way through all the pages of holidays from various holiday companies. Without fail, when you rang the listed phone number the 'from' price was not available - but we all knew that, it was a mild form of 'bait and switch'.

The web was supposed to have changed that - and I've ranted about this before [see 'bait and switch - opodo] but here's another example.

Still looking for a cheap holiday [see entry below] I completed the relevant details on the deckchair.com form and hit 'search'. This is part of what I got:

This is only the top part of the page. In total, there were ten entries on the page that were 'subject to availability'. And there were ten on the next page. And the next. And the next. And on the next.

And guess what, despite my putting in the dates on which I could travel, non of the
'subject to availability' holidays were available on the dates I could travel.

GGRRRRRRRRR. What a complete and utter waste of time for everybody involved.

Can you imagine going into a shoe shop and saying you want a pair of size ten shoes, only for the assistant to show you a whole range of shoes that she did not have in size ten?

Or going into a car dealership, saying you want a vehicle to carry two adults and four children and being shown a sports car?

Or sitting in front of a real person in a travel agent, telling her the date you want to travel, and then have her read out a whole load of holidays for different dates. Hmmm, that sound familiar.

Come on deckchair, this is simply shoddy sales/marketing - if you don't have any cheap holidays for the dates I want to travel say so - or better still, use the technology to refine the search or offer me something - anything - on those dates.

Do I need to add that I have deleted deckchair.com from my 'travel' bookmarks?

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